Beyond the Beaches: Industry members excited to share Florida’s rich cattle legacy at NCBA’s CattleCon 2024

Cattle producers in the Sunshine State are looking forward to hosting fellow industry members in Orlando for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) CattleCon 2024! Leaders from the state give us a glimpse of what Florida has to offer as well as their excitement for the upcoming event in January.

As the Sunshine State prepares to host the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) CattleCon this year, Florida’s cattlemen and women are gearing up to share their rich heritage with visitors from all corners of the country.

“When most people think of Florida, they envision alligators, palm trees, and beaches,” said Jim Handley, the Executive Vice President of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association. “While we are indeed a tourist destination, many are surprised to discover the extensive ranching operations in the interior of our state. We’re proud to be a calf State, home to an impressive 1.6 million head of beef cattle.”

Florida’s cattle legacy is deeply rooted in Florida, dating back more than five centuries.

“We’ve had cattle here for 502 years,” explained Deanne Maples, Executive Director of Florida Beef Council. “When cattle first arrived in what is now North America, they came to Florida. Our state holds a rich heritage that we are excited to showcase and share with our friends from across the country.”

Cattle ranching across generations is a common theme in Florida, and the tradition runs particularly deep in places like Okeechobee. The city has immortalized its cattle heritage through a striking bronze sculpture grouping in a public park downtown, celebrating the enduring legacy of ranching in the region.

In addition to its longstanding tradition in raising cattle, Florida boasts robust cattle industry organizations working tirelessly on behalf of producers. The Florida Beef Council actively promotes beef to consumers, while the Florida Cattlemen’s Association advocates for the industry and its members.

Established in 1934, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association boasts a membership of approximately 4,400 families engaged in ranching across the state. According to Handley, the group represents approximately 96 percent of the cow herds across the state.

The association’s vital work includes the execution of notable programs, such as the NASCAR Xfinity Series Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner 300. This event, held in 2021, 2022, and 2023, provided an exciting opportunity to promote beef to loyal race fans from across the nation.

Aside from their involvement in events like the NASCAR series, Florida’s cattlemen are dedicated to promoting beef and caring for their cattle daily. With a legacy that spans centuries, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association is ready to welcome visitors to Orlando for a convention that promises to be both educational and a celebration of the state’s vibrant cattle industry.

CattleCon will kick off on January 31st, 2024 for more info CLICK HERE.

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